Duct tape saved the day

Many of us may have a story about duct tape coming to the rescue in a sticky situation.  To that I am adding my recent one.

On Monday, May 20, we boarded the plane ready to return home after a week long vacation.  The day started early. As the shuttle from the hotel to the airport that we were supposed to take were full, we were forced to take an earlier shuttle.  That meant that we had to get up real early and had a long wait at the airport.  We boarded on time and settled down for a four hour flight.  I dozed off and on but soon realized that the plane was still stuck on the runway and departure time had already come and gone.  Curious to know what was the cause of the delay, I started to look around for an answer.  Soon I saw the pilot walking near where I was sitting and open an over head bin diagonally across where my seat was.  It was a small bin with a small black suitcase.  my mind raced through several theories.  I overheard the pilot saying to one of the crew member that he can’t take a risk.  Soon a ground crew with a yellow vest arrived on the scene and opened the bin.  He took out a screw driver and tried to fix something.  He gave up after some try, went to the back of the plane ( my seat was on the last row before the toilets) and started talking on the phone.  Obviously there was some argument and I heard him saying that he can’t fix it as someone had replaced a screw with a non-standard screw.  Sabotage?  Soon another crew member took the black carry on out of the bin and moved to the front of the plane and out the door.  Another ground crew  member arrived soon and things started falling in place.  The door of the overhead bin had come loose and the pilot did not want to fly as he was apprehensive that the bin door may open during flight and be a safety hazard.  The first ground crew could not fix the door as someone before had replaced the original screw with a larger screw and now the standard screw won’t fit. The second ground crew had a roll of duct tape ( red color for good measure) that both of them applied liberally to ensure that the overhead bin door stay shut during the flight.

You can see the end result on the featured image.  No harm done.  A small screw delayed our departure by forty five minutes but the flight itself after that was uneventful.    I shudder to think of the delay that could have been if we were forced to change plane.  Duct tape did save the day.

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I hear the rains

I can hear the raindrops pattering on the roof

Distant thunders clapping as lightning dances

Childhood dreams of splashing in mud rush through my mind

As the warm bed invites me to indulge my creaky old bones


Woke up in the morning in Iowa City to a thunderstorm, a rarity in California

Windy City

I am visiting Chicago for a week with my wife and then drive to Iowa City to attend a wedding. Landed in O’Hare Airport late Saturday night and stayed overnight at the airport hotel instead of driving to the city late at night. Rented a car on Sunday morning from the airport and drove to Chicago Botanical Garden. It was a cold, gray day with forecast of rain. It was also Mother’s Day and place was full of visitors. The Botanical Garden is simply fabulous. Colors galore. Will share (or try to share) photos with my next post. My cell phone simply started acting up from the evening and going into a perpetual restart mode. Somehow or other I am keeping it working and hope it survives the trip.

From the Botanical Garden drove noth to North Dune State Preserve by the shore of Lake Michigan. बाद decision. Wind was howling and our bay area attire for cols simply could not stand up to the wind. It was chilly to say the least. Forgot our idea of exploring the shores of Lake Michigan and drove back to our hotel for the night. Evening was damp, windy and it started drizzling. We abandoned the idea od driving to Devon Avenue in search of a good Indian dinner and settled for a local Italian steak house. Best decision of the day.

Looking into Death

It’s not death that I fear,
Death will be embraced
When the time is near, 
Fear I most is being invalid,
Death, a friend, a true constant,
From the time took my first breath.


This post was in response to an email with an excerpt sent by a friend today morning as follows

I woke up fresh and wide awake and popped open to my bookmark in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche in Google Books on my phone and soon came upon the following passage that I felt compelled to highlight and annotate… And I feel further compelled to share this with you all.
The excerpt:

Looking into death needn’t be frightening or morbid. Why not reflect on death when you are really inspired, relaxed, and comfortable, lying in bed, or on holiday, or listening to music that particularly delights you? Why not reflect on it when you are happy, in good health, confident, and full of well-being? Don’t you notice that there are particular moments when you are naturally moved to introspection? Work with them gently, for these are the moments when you can go through a powerful experience, and your whole worldview can change quickly. These are the moments when former beliefs crumble on their own, and you can find yourself being transformed.

Today I have time aplenty

I wrote this poem in my mother tongue, Assamese (pronounced Axomiya – অসমীয়া) yesterday and then translated to Bengali and shared with my friends and family through Whatsapp.  I translated it to English today.  Below is the English version followed by the original Assamese and translated Bengali poem.

Phone is lying silently near me

Those would like to talk are gone now

Once lack of time was an excuse
Continue reading “Today I have time aplenty”

Mere human

As we drown in the sea of our complaints of things we do not have

Floats by gently all things we have that we are blind to see

We embrace the means to the ends we desire, ignoring consequences

As we bestow divine blessings to causes we aspire, right or wrong

A divinity invented by us to hide our own moral failings and shortcomings

We let usurpers lull us to false security in exchange for our freedom

We chain ourselves to values abhorrent, as long as our self professed goals are met

Indignant we are to ideas foreign to us, thumbing our nose to truth

We shout to high heavens to take our detractors to task

Dressing ourselves with the garb of morality while spewing venom

In search of of moral high ground we cheat, remaining  just mere human